Ben Ford serves up Big Flavor with Taming the Feast

What does a family love of working with tools and fine craftsmanship have to do with cooking? The answer comes in the form of a new cookbook. Chef Ben Ford has taken on outdoor cooking in an adventurous manner! His new book, Taming the Feast – Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, is a visual treat for foodies.

The book is packed with amazing photography, recipe ideas, and outdoor cooking information. Ford, with the help of cookbook author Carolynn Carreno, has served up a hearty book that’s bold with flavor and craftsmanship.

Inside Taming the Feast
Taming the Feast
is broken down into menu style sections. These sections are packed with tons of information as each menu item is described in detail and tied into other dishes on the menu. Ford offers each meal as a type of family and friend celebration!  Menus, number of servings, and cooking methods, are done on a grand scale. Taming the Feast is packed with things that you can adapt for your own party or cookout.
So how does the flavor and craftsmanship question come into play? Ford uses some of the traits he shares with his father, when it comes to working with tools and work ethic, to show readers some really neat ways to build some homemade cooking projects such as a roasting shed and clambake barrel.

The Recipes and Ingredients
Recipes in Taming the Feast are rooted in traditional barbecue and grilling flavor. The dishes are all really normal menu items at first glance. A grilled meat, a salad, some veggies, seafood, barbecue beans, and such.  Then you notice the full recipe titles and flavor pairings. Why make deviled eggs when you can make Deviled Eggs with Smoked Lake Trout?

Why make bratwurst when you can grill flavor packed Beer Braised or Wisconsin Style brats? If you’re thinking about grilling some pork… why not a whole hog? Are you making potato salad? Then why not make String Bean and Potato Salad? Ford takes the opportunity in his book to tweak your grilling and barbecue imagination by expanding your list of possible ingredients. There are even suggestions for your grilled leftovers.

A Love of Tools and Building
I enjoyed that recipes and color photographs are often accompanied with doodle style drawings including the illustrated project section. It’s a combination that illustrates many of Ford’s outdoor cooking ideas. It’s exactly how my dad and grandfather, a steelworker and carpenter, taught me how to build things.

Here’s how I imagine a conversation with Ford going while grilling. Ford and I are grilling and having a cold beverage. He show’s me a photo on his phone of a handmade smoker that he built from scratch. “All you have to do is build this,” Ford says. I respond with a stare and say, “How?”
Ford would then take a sip of his cold beverage, wipe his face with a sleeve, and grab a napkin and draw me a sketch while talking me through the process. At that point I simply reply, “Cool!”

Ford’s love of building things, and work ethic, is something he credits to his parents, his father is actor Harrison Ford. In an interview with Chrissy Iley of Daily Mail UK, Chef Ford says that when he was young his dad was just starting out as an actor, but he was already an accomplished carpenter with an eye for detail.

“My father was doing a lot of carpentry back then, and he only started to find success as I was becoming a teenager,” Chef Ford said. “Dad was always fixing up the house, and he’d often take me to building sites, show me the floor joists, how everything fitted together. Seeing how meticulous he was at his craft has stayed with me as a chef.”

Family Praise – a Basis for Flavor
Ford also praises the cooking abilities of his entire family starting with his mother, Mary Marquardt, and her delicious Roasted Chicken according to the Daily News article. He also gives culinary praise to his step-dad, director Bob Becker, who loved to cook. And above all; Chef Ford let’s readers know his wife and two sons are inspirations in just about everything he does… and cooks.
Chef Ben Ford’s cookbook Taming the Feast offers readers big flavor, tasty recipes, colorful imagery, as well as fun reading. It’s one of the books on my shelf that’s guaranteed to have some barbecue sauce stained finger prints left on the pages.

Kent Whitaker is the author of eight cookbooks, ranging from hometown cooking with a culinary history twist to titles for NASCAR tailgating and barbecue. He has also written and illustrated two books for children, is a trained USCG AUXCHEF, and is the winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network Barbecue Contest. His latest book, Bullets and Bread,  is in bookstores nationally and is also available online at, as well as at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

Originally published in the National Barbecue News

FacebookDiggStumbleuponReddit Pin It


Category: Food & Lifestyle
FacebookDiggStumbleuponReddit Pin It

On/Off Radio Player

Tiki Entertainment

Cool Stuff

Tropical Weather

Surf News

Back to Top